Expelled Priest in NY Is Awol from Ck Diocese

By Nazario Rodriguez Jr.
Saipan Tribune

August 14, 2008

A controversial priest who was expelled from a diocese in New York is “technically” on AWOL (absence without leave) from the Diocese of Chalan Kanoa, according to Bishop Thomas Camacho.

In an interview yesterday at his office in Mt. Carmel Church, Camacho confirmed that he ordained Fr. Matthew Blockley in 1996. He said the priest left Saipan sometime in 2000 and never came back.

Blockley, an Englishman, was recently expelled by the Diocese of Rockville Centre and was ordered by Bishop William Murphy to immediately cease presenting himself as a priest on Long Island.

Saipan Tribune learned about this through an e-mail from Newsday reporter Bart Jones, who quoted a Rockville Centre spokesman as saying that Blockley had left New York for the CNMI.

Camacho said, though, that Blockley is not here.

Jones reported that Blockley was brought to New York by Msgr. James Lisante, a Fox news commentator, without the knowledge of the diocese there and that Camacho had suspended him because he did not respond to an instruction that he should return to his home diocese.

Jones also reported that some parishioners at the Our Lady of Lourdes in Massapequa Park were angered by some of Blockley's actions that included removing the statue of the Our Lady of Fatima from the altar.

Lisante, who became the parish pastor there in June and brought with him Blockley, called the protests an overreaction, adding that it was another priest who removed the statue.

Camacho was saddened by these issues but said he will continue to pray for Blockley because “he is still my responsibility.”

The Bishop recalled that Blockley stayed on Saipan about three years prior to his application to become a priest.

He said Blockley went to the Beda College in Rome, which is exclusively for English seminarians.

He also said Blockley went to the Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines about two years ago to take up Business Administration.

The Bishop said he wrote letters to Blockley but has never heard of his whereabouts since then.



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